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Curvy Girl Chic's Allison Teng: I Buy What I Love, Then Find the Right Balance

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Welcome Allison Teng, 26, of Curvy Girl Chic, who is joining us as our resident plus-size style blogger. She was featured in the March issue of PEOPLE StyleWatch and will be contributing regularly to the site. This week, she advises to buy what you love and let the outfit find itself later.

Allison Teng dressing tips
Courtesy Allison Teng

These Gap snakeprint pants sat in my closet for maybe four months before I figured out what I wanted to wear them with. The print is pretty loud, and while I like a lush, graphic animal print, I’m not used to wearing it on the bottom versus the top. All that being said, I knew the pants would do a number of great things for my shape: I knew the print would add interest to my smaller hips, I liked the smaller size of the print (I don’t necessarily like to draw a ton of attention with big, crazy prints, so the scale here really worked for me), and the silhouette is really streamlined and makes legs look long. Plus, the pants were a steal at around $10, and I’m not one to shy away from venturing out of my comfort zone (plus girls, you shouldn’t be either!). So I bought them and waited until I came up with the perfect outfit.

RELATED: See even more wardrobe tips from Allison here!

Because the pants are so eye-catching, I decided that less is more and kept the rest of my look simple. And since they’re more fitted, I went for something billowy on top. (Note: One great thing about these pants is that, though they are fitted, the fabric is really thick so they don’t cling to every inch of your leg. When something is printed, it’s best not to go overly-tight!) I love how relaxed the look becomes with a flowy, neutral blouse. The V-neckline (it’s adjustable with a zipper) on this Forever21+ top (no longer available; get the look!) works well; since the sleeves are long, it’s nice to show a hint of skin somewhere else.

I wanted to keep things simple and clean with accessories: a smaller Monika Chiang bag (no longer available; get the look!) that looks cute but still fits everything I need, and white pointy heels by Report (no longer available; get the look!) to give my legs even more of a lengthened look.

What did I learn from this experience? Patience. If an items really speaks to you and makes you look and feel great, chances are you’ll find a way to work into your wardrobe. The trickier the trend, the more trial and error it might take, but that’s part of the fun!

How do you make your monochromatic looks stand out? What are the best black skinnies you’ve found? Share below!